When Baranduda’s war veteran Dennis Ramsay competes in an inaugural international sporting event alongside 400 other wounded warriors from around the world he will take another important step in his long road to rehabilitation.
Dennis will be among 15 serving Defence members and 21 RSL sponsored athletes competing in the Invitcus Games in Londont, an initiative of His Royal Highness Prince Harry.
Over 400 competitors from 14 nations will take part in the event from September 10 to 14. Teams will come from the armed forces of nations that have served alongside each other. The Games will use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect of those who serve their country
The army veteran is set to join 15 other Australian Defence Force veterans in the Games in London, which championed by Prince Harry as a celebration of all war veterans’ resilience and passion.
"It is a huge honour to be selected by the RSL to represent Australia and its veterans at the Invictus Games," he said.
The Games will offer Dennis a memorable, inspiring and energising experience in his journey to rehabilitation.
"It is a great opportunity, because the Games are not just about competing but sharing experiences with other veterans," he said.
"The Games will highlight the veterans who have put their lives on the line for their country, as well as to demonstrate how they and their families are valued, respected and supported."
Dennis, who grew up in Brisbane’s Jamboree Heights, but now calls Baranduda in Victoria home, he uses prosthetics lower legs and a wheel-chair since losing both legs to an illness after returning from Afghanistan in 2007.
The former army warrant officer, who has served his country in Timor Leste (1999 and 2003), Iraq (2004) and Afghanistan (2006 -2007), will compete in the seated throws (javelin, shot put and discus) as well as wheelchair basketball, wheel-chair rugby and seated volleyball.
"I have trained very hard and expect to do well in the seated throw of javelin and also shot-put because I hold the titles for the Athletics Australia Nationals for the F57 classes.
Dennis is no stranger to international competition, having competed in two US Marine Corps Paralympic trials, where he won gold, silver and bronze medals in wheelchair racing, athletics, basketball and seated volleyball.
"I am hoping to win a medal, but just to compete against other serious ill and wounded defence members from other countries will be awesome," he said.The former army carpenter said he will have many inspiring stories to tell his friends and family when he returns from the Games.
"I do a bit of public speaking about life after an amputation, which sees me visit schools in the local area where I tell young Australians about being healthy life-styles and Paralympic sports," he said.